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This Danfo Lyfe: Beggars and Riders

I’ve got a confession to make. I love people watching – a.k.a.: gbeborun alias looku-looku.

“Gbeborun” loosely translates to a person who hurriedly picks up a veil looking for juicy gossip in the neighbourhood.

Really, I just like watching scenarios around me. I don’t go about looking for these events; they more or less find me. Now, you may be wondering “…this one does not have work, that’s why she has time for gbeborun.”

Far from the truth. This segment is about the drama, craze and all round ridiculousness, all the juice that happens on Nigerian roads, especially in Lagos and particularly with Danfo – those yellow and black buses/contraptions that ply Lagos roads.

Most of us have, at one time or another, had need of these buses – call them a necessary evil – or encountered them as we go about our daily activities.

We’ve all experienced beggars on Lagos roads, whether the corporate beggars or the ones who genuinely look desolate.

Anyway, one of these days, while I was in a cabu-cabu (saloon cars with about 3-4 passengers) on Ozumba Mbadiwe Way, slowly approaching Bonny Camp bus stop due to the constant traffic after work hours. One pretty dark skinned girl approached my side of the vehicle (I was seated by the window) and said ‘Aunty, I like your necklace oo, come dash me money’. I had no necklace on, but look at the way she complimented my absent jewellery so I could give her what she wanted.

While I was still contemplating the girl and her skills, she’s moved on to a more promising target.

Young man in a sleek car with stunning sunglasses. Bobo was busy admiring his watch when the little girl knocked on his window. ‘Give me money’ she said. The guy looks straight ahead as if he didn’t hear the girl. He probably didn’t. She knocks on his window again. ‘You be fine boy oo,’ she said as she remained rooted beside the car. Bobo casts a glance at her and looks straight ahead. The girl is unrelenting.

Suddenly, as the traffic begins to ease up, I see Bobo fumbling for his wallet…

I wonder what happened…

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Toyin Alli-Hakeem

Follow Toyin's Danfo Lyfe on Instagram: @thisdanfolife

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